Minnesota Lutherans at forefront of new Martin Luther revolution (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

A grinning Nancy Monke posed for photos at the legendary church doors where Martin Luther blasted the Catholic Church and unleashed the Protestant Reformation. The Minnesota minister is part of a surge of visitors to the homeland of Luther, the stern monk in black robes who is making a 21st-century comeback.

With the 500th anniversary of Luther’s breakaway coming next year, church leaders worldwide are working to spotlight his legacy, and to inject fresh energy into a once-radical faith battling an image as stiff as Luther’s bronze statues here. Interest is intense in Minnesota, home to the largest number of Lutherans in the nation.

In his longtime home of Wittenberg, pilgrims in tennis shoes and clutching cameras meander the medieval cobblestone streets. Luther’s face winks at you from a bag of Luther bonbons in shop windows and stares from six packs of Luther beer. Hotel reservations are hot, tour guides in demand. Luther’s hometown is enjoying a multimillion-euro face-lift to welcome the 2017 blitz.
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